Off late, one game has taken womenfolk of the Capital Complex by storm. If hearsay has to be believed, most of the womenfolk in and around Itanagar and Naharlagun are gripped by this game called ‘Boli’, which involves million of Rupees. Some say this game is a social evil which causes conflicts in the families and leads to broken family; whereas, those who are ardent fan of this game say otherwise. They say that for this game they are able to meet their financial needs for educating their children, medical treatments, buying of properties etc.
So when the Capital District Administration banned playing, conducting or propagating ‘Boli’ in any form across the State Capital, terming it is disturbing the social fabric and causing conflicts in families, the organizing committees cried foul over District Administration’s decision to ban the game. They said that responding to show cause notice issued to the organizing committee of the game by the Deputy Commissioner, they had met Deputy Commissioner and apprised her (the DC) of the benefits of the game. They claimed that impressed with presentation on game, the DC had decided against banning the game and had rather shown interest in joining the game.
However, withholding her earlier decision to ban the game, the Deputy Commissioner has asked the organizer of the game to wrap up the game within one month time.
So, what is ‘Boli’?
‘Boli’ is a Hindi term literally meaning bidding. Thus, ‘Boli’ is a bidding game where huge sum of money exchange hands and where the person who bids the lowest is declared successful in a round of game which consists of several rounds equivalent to the number of members in a group.
How it is played?
It is played in a group, the number of which, the amount (usually in millions) for which it is played and the frequency of the game (i.e., in how many rounds the game would be finished) is decided by the organiser. Each member then deposits an amount equivalent to the total amount divided by number of members in a group in each round. For example, if there are 10 members in a group and the game is played for an amount of 2 million then each member has to put in an amount of 20,000/- in each round. Then ‘Boli’ or rather bidding starts. However, prior to commencement of the game, a rule is framed. The rule is framed for the maximum amount a person can bid for, which is usually 80% to 90% of the amount for which the game is being played (decided by the committee). This 10% or 20% of the total amount as decided by the committee is then distributed equally amongst the members. Thus, the amount left for bidding is 80% 0r 90% of the total amount.
Now, based on the personal requirement of money at that time, the member bids how much minimum amount they are ready to take from the available amount for bidding (i.e., total amount minus 10% or 20% of the total amount as decided). The member who is ready to take the minimum amount is the winner and draws the bid amount from the available amount for bidding. The remaining amount i.e., the amount left after deducting bid amount from the available amount for bidding is then distributed amongst the members. The member who is declared successful in bidding is further barred from bidding in the subsequent rounds of the game, though in each round the member has to contribute equal amount as decided earlier.
Does it affect the societal set-up?
No matter how hard the fan of ‘Boli’ may try to justify this game by saying that it has helped them to meet financial requirement for educating their children or for medical treatment or to buy properties etc., a simple arithmetic calculation shows otherwise. The fact is that only few of the members do actually get benefitted and remaining needy members who had drawn money, by bidding amount much lesser than the amount available for bidding do get exploited monetarily, who shell out more money than the rest. In order to draw large sum of money at one go (for whatever financial requirements), it is said that people tend to borrow money at a very high interest rates falling in debt trap which finally leads to conflicts in the family and resultant disintegration of the family. So, it would not be wrong to say that ‘Boli’ has in one way or the other has affected the societal set-up.
On a lighter note: It was overheard that ATM’s at Capital Complex are not able to dispense cash because the ATM’s become empty as soon as ATM’s are replenished with cash as huge sum of money are drawn from the ATM’s to be put in ‘Boli’
The district administration has spoken and declared ‘Boli’ illegal and I too have put my perspective on it. So, it’s your turn to say if ‘Boli’ is a social evil as some section of the society and the district administration says or if it is the means for weaker section of society just to mitigate their financial needs as advocated by the fans or rather players of the game. Do put in your views.